Chapter 02: 1998 – July to December, UK, Cabella and India

Recollections - Book by Sahaja Yogis

Advice at the Royal Albert Hall

At one of the Royal Albert Hall programmes in London there was a message from Shri Mataji requesting the Sahaja Yogis to sit evenly all over the hall, and not to all sit together at the back. In other words, the front row seats should be taken by Sahaja Yogis in alternate seats, so that the each new person could sit flanked on both sides by a Sahaja Yogi. As much as possible the same was to be done throughout the middle and back rows. The same message explained that this made it easier for the vibrations to permeate through the crowd. 

Luis Garrido

Will you hold these?

It was after the Albert Hall programme in 1998. There was a follow-up meeting nearby in the Holland Park School, which Shri Mataji attended. Having felt that I was going to be late, I rushed past the abundant flower stall at the train station without getting flowers for Her. I reached the school after Shri Mataji’s arrival and found a seat in the big, full hall. She talked at length and answered plenty of questions. Afterwards, I went and stood near the doorway that Mother would go through on Her way out of the school. Very few of us were inside as most had gone outside to wait and see Her off.

I was getting a little anxious as I really wanted to give a flower to Our Holy Mother but there were none to give. Through the glass double doors, where Shri Mataji’s room was, there were a couple of yogis in the corridor, each holding a beautiful single rose. I wished that I had one of those for Mother. Then the doors opened and Shri Mataji was pushed through in Her wheelchair. As She passed close to me She asked to stop.

Will you hold these?’  She said to me. She looked up at me and gave me the beautiful roses that had just been given to Her.

Certainly,’ I replied. 

Shri Mataji knew everything about us and responded beyond our imaginings to our pure desires!  

Cythare Cooper

The Holland Park programme

Just before the Royal Albert Hall in 1998 Shri Mataji requested that we do a follow up and we found Holland Park School, situated in the park, in Central London. We printed lots of leaflets, which were given to everyone attending the programme in the Royal Albert Hall and also some posters, which we quickly put up in shops and libraries. I remember leafleting all around the area the previous day by putting leaflets on every car parked in the streets.

Shri Mataji came to the programme and liked the place very much, though it was not nearly as grand as the Albert Hall. She said that it was informal and relaxed and the vibrations could flow with more ease. Many people came and the atmosphere was really wonderful, there was a family like atmosphere felt and enjoyed. Shri Mataji asked that the recording of Her talk should be made available to new people for a very low price. We had several meetings in the school afterwards and the leaflet refers to one of them.

Grazyna Anslow

A poster for an Albert Hall programme and a handout for a follow up

Shri Mataji on alcohol

My wife Lioudmila and I met Shri Mataji in Her house in Ealing, West London, on July 4th, 1998. Among other subjects, She talked about the effect of alcohol on the human body. She explained that every cell in the body contains a quantity of phosphorous and that when phosphorous is exposed to air, which happens when one drinks alcohol, the cells become dehydrated and one experiences stress on the liver and other related problems.

Alan Wherry

The ganas will do everything

Shri Mataji told me to study ayurvedic medicine because She said it is very close to the subtle system. She also told me that ayurvedic medicine is not only a medicine, but a science about life. In ayurveda, they have described about daily life, body exercise, how we should behave according to the day, month, season, etc.

These are natural medicines, so they don’t have any side effects and Shri Mataji said that they also affect our chakras. Shri Mataji says that ayurvedic medicines also affect the subtle system. It means a person who is doing Sahaja Yoga takes ayurvedic medicine, it acts much more effectively and quickly.

In Verona, Italy, they organized a conference about Sahaja Yoga and ayurveda: its history, its relation with yoga and then Sahaja Yoga. I came out of university and I never knew how to speak in front of people. They were doing very big advertisements on radio and in newspapers and invited all the doctors in Verona. I didn’t know what to do because I had to prepare something. Shri Mataji called me and I told Her that they had organized this.

You are going to speak in front of people, and what are you going to speak about?’ She asked.

There’s this conference and, really, Shri Mataji, I don’t know what to say.’

You don’t have to worry. You just go and stand there. The ganas will do everything,’ She said. ‘You will spread Sahaja Yoga and ayurveda together because people get attracted because of medicine. Then when you describe Sahaja Yoga, it is much more effective because you don’t say anything. It’s not like a hypothesis. But if one doctor tells about the medicinal effect on the physiology of the body, it becomes more effective.’

Then we went all over Italy. Also they invited me on national television in Italy twice. It was a medical programme with doctors of allopathic medicine. They agreed with me about ayurveda and were so impressed that they invited me. We spoke about stress, the first time.

This seems so good. You tell us the real technique that you have,’ they said, so we spoke about Sahaja Yoga and it was very nice. Also Shri Mataji liked it very much, because, She said, for the first time we spoke about Sahaja Yoga and medicine on Italian television.

It was wonderful,’ Shri Mataji said. ‘You spoke very well and it was very impressive because it was on the medical programme.’

Susharda Tommasi

Shri Mataji made all the cells in my body laugh

It was my first puja to go on stage to perform puja to Shri Mataji, Guru Puja in 1998, at Cabella. I had no idea what was to be done and was worried about stumbling in my sari and where to sit and everything. I sat next to a Sahaja brother who understood the situation and he smiled calmly to me, so I would not worry. I sat as far back as I could and put my sari over my head to try to hide and caught myself wondering if the other yogis there were without any thought, because in my head there had never been so many thoughts.

At one moment I felt the attention of Shri Mataji coming my way and looked down. When I thought it was over I looked up and She looked at me laughing, really laughing and it felt like She made all the cells in my body laugh as well. She made me feel completely comfortable in the situation.

As we got the hint to come to perform the puja by putting kumkum on Her Feet, I went with my brother and we put kumkum on one Foot each. I caught myself thinking, ‘Whatever you do, do not look up.’ And just as that thought came I could feel my head turn up, like a puppet on a string, and faced Shri Mataji, who looked down. It was clear that She was my Guru and it was like I saw the whole universe turning in the void, and She settled something fundamental in me at that moment.

Sidsel Mugford

Shri Mataji cared enough to put me right

Mother once said I should put Her, my Guru, in my heart. I was always amazed and humbled by Her first words at every public programme.

I bow to all the seekers of truth,’ and even more by, ‘You are all saints.’

Reading all of these stories of deep recognition and gratitude proves that Shri Mataji’s essence lives in all of us, conferring the power to awaken others to Her presence within.

But now a memory, and for the sake of variety, it’s about a telling off. My wife Purna, myself and my sons had the privilege of living in Cabella in the glorious ‘90s. Mother was always so gracious to us, but deep inside I always had this niggling apprehension of being told off one day, getting a right and proper ‘papatch’.

One day She had just returned from the UK and sat majestically in the reception hall of the castle. About two hundred yogis squeezed in and being a privileged resident I decided to stay at the back – outside the main doorway, but close enough to have oblique intermittent glimpses of Shri Mataji. She started telling off one of the English yogis and his wife, at which point I suddenly felt conveniently more Italian than ever (I have dual nationality).

Why are you English so bumptious, what is so great about you… and, where is he, is Victor here?’

Yes Mother he is,’ came the diligent reply from one of my dearest Italian brothers, ‘he’s over there.’ All eyes turned to me.

Come, come here,’ She said.

My brother beckoned in an insistent fashion – in case I hadn’t quite got the idea. I waded through to the front and sat before Shri Mataji, literally inches from Her Lotus Feet; from which I could barely lift my eyes.

She scolded me for my Englishness, but I knew it was for my ego. As She blasted me, I slowly raised my eyes and head and gazed up at Her, because Her every word, Her face, Her eyes and Her mouth, radiated love. I felt the wave of Her attention overwhelm me with love and cool vibrations and I also adored Her more than ever because She cared enough to put me right. I drank it all in, I could not resist it. I was blessed and blissed. When it ceased, I bowed and as I turned back, amazingly, I wasn’t struggling to get through the sea of yogis again – the waves rapidly parted before me.

The tears of shame had become tears of gratitude. Thank You Mother, again and again.

Victor Vertunni

She enjoyed them very much

I sell pendants of Shri Mataji. I have given the pendants to Her many times and Shri Mataji once said something nice. She enjoyed them very much. She said they were perfect, and She enjoyed the photos very much, especially the one where She was a young girl. That was the first photograph, when She was sixteen years old. Two years before, I gave Her many brooches with Her Feet, and She spoke a lot to me and all the time had Her Right Nabhi finger in contact with my Right Nabhi finger. I wanted it to go on for eternity!

Patricia Wolfmeyer

Shri Mataji as a young girl

It is often sunny

Sometimes, Shri Mataji goes out almost every day and the children love it, because they can give flowers. It is often sunny, somehow. My son asked Her if She liked his flower.

Oh yes, it was really nice, really beautiful,’ She said. Sometimes She will give some advice to the mother about her child when She takes a flower.

Henriette Hagrasman

To discuss some project

One time Shri Mataji was in Cabella. She asked me to go there to discuss something about some project, or the house. I saw that She did not want to talk about the project, but She wanted to call me there. After that She started talking about a man very far away, in India or somewhere, who was doing wrong things that should not have been done. She was describing exactly what I had done the day before. So I realised She knew exactly what I had done, but didn’t want to hurt me.

I suggest, that if he wants to correct himself, he can do like this,’ She then said, and gave a suggestion of how to cure his problem.

Once in the summer my family and I went to Croatia for a holiday for some days. As soon as I arrived there I received a phone call from someone at the castle at Cabella.

Shri Mataji wants to see you,’ he said, ‘because She wants to discuss some project.’ So I turned the car round and came running to Cabella, and presented myself to Her, but again She did not say anything about this project. She was telling me about another Indian man who was always compelled to go on holidays with his wife, spoke about people who go so far away and take the car, just to rest, and it is better to stay here. It was the same thing again, as this was exactly what I had done but She was talking about this Indian Sahaja Yogi, but She was talking about me.

The next year I hadn’t learned the lesson and I again went on a holiday. I went to London with my family, and I didn’t tell anyone I had gone there. As soon as I crossed the channel the phone rang again and I looked at my wife.

I know this is Sandeep,’ I said, and it was! ‘Shri Mataji wants to see you, to discuss some project,’ and again I turned my car, and went back to Cabella, from London. Again this time She didn’t discuss any project but spoke of many different things. It is the proof that Shri Mataji knew exactly what each one of us was doing and where we were.

Duilio Cartocci

This one is really a pearl

I was in Shri Mataji’s apartment at Cabella with another Sahaja Yogi. We were gossiping about a Sahaja Yogi, not very bad gossip but gossip. After about half an hour we went into Shri Mataji’s room and She started talking about the world economy. Then from this subject She went to another and talked on many subjects. At the end She talked about England and about this Sahaja Yogi who we had been gossiping about before.

This one is really a pearl,’ She said.

Giorgio Rovina

Waves of vibrations

At Cabella on one occasion, Shri Mataji asked to look at the gold jewellery She used for the puja.

This is okay,’ She might say, or ‘Let’s see if this needs changing or mending.’ She looked at the toe rings that She needed for the puja and said, ‘No, put them away, just too many vibrations. It’s too strong.’ She was bowled over by the vibrations from Herself — like a mirror. It was wonderful.

Sometimes Shri Mataji would just stop when She was talking and you felt these waves of vibrations coming out, when She put Her attention on something particular.

Jeremy Lamaison

They know Me

We used to sit with Shri Mataji at Cabella sometimes. One time She had been sent a cassette tape by Hemlata and Ravindra Jain and Hemlata were singing a bhajan, a poem that Shri Mataji had composed, and tears came to Her eyes when She heard it.

See, they know Me,’ She said. She had called us to meditate and She had said, ‘Come, you have to meditate in front of Adi Shakti now.’

Shri Mataji called the ladies first and then afterwards the men because there were about a hundred people working here at that time and we could not all get in the big room. She put this tape on and that was when Her eyes were full of tears of joy.

You are very lucky,’ She said. ‘You have Me as your Mother. The Adi Shakti is correcting you and you are in front of Shri Adi Shakti and you have to rise.’ One by one, She would correct us, like ‘Put a hand on the liver,’ and so on. We would all go up to Her.

Shri Mataji told us how to do namaskar properly. We were all in front of Her and the meditation was finished and everyone was doing namaskar. Some people were putting their hands in front of them and raising their hands and their hands were very close together and so on. She said that they should open their hands and put them further apart on the ground and the forehead should actually be touching the floor.

Nanda Tagliabue

It becomes prasad

I went a few times with Shri Mataji when She went out to a restaurant with Her family. Naturally the family spoke Hindi together, but Shri Mataji made sure you felt comfortable and part of the family, by speaking English to you quite often during the meal. Also She tasted each part of the meal so it became prasad, and then She gave it to us and we ate prasad. It was a big maya actually, because you felt you were with your mum or grandmum and you forgot who She was.

Rajeshwara from Italy

The day of the puja

I was living at Cabella, and one thing happened when I was in the hospital when my daughter, Puja, was born. Shri Mataji asked after me and asked when the child was born. She gave the name Puja because it had been the day of a puja. She sent me a present for the baby — a little dress.

Roxana Sindici

You are all part of My body

Once when I was quite young, about twenty-one, Shri Mataji was asking me a lot about young people.

Yes, I remember when you were telling Me all about young people,’ She told me years later, ‘and how I had to vomit after you had told Me all those things.’ I never realised it at the time. I felt so bad and realised that you’d got to be really careful what you said and how you behaved and how your vibrations are when you were with Mother.

I’ve seen that at Cabella. Shri Mataji would speak to someone and then be awake all night. She wouldn’t sleep at all. She’d ask you in there and work all night because of this person. She would take that particular problem of that person on Herself. Mother was receiving people all the time and dealing with problems and that had a direct consequence on Her physical being. She didn’t sleep or She was up all night being worked on because She spoke to someone who came to see Her with a problem or wrote Her a letter. She took it on Herself and never said anything to anyone.

Occasionally in the puja, She might mention how, ‘You are all part of My body,’ but She never complained or made you feel bad about it, whereas I have often seen how the physical effect people have on Her could be quite devastating.

It tells you so much about the compassion She had for us and is so important to understand.

Robert Hunter

She really spoiled us

We lived in Cabella at the beginning. We were quite nervous to begin with, to think we were living like in an ashram, with Mother there upstairs, but when She came, She really spoiled us. We were always up there. We would prepare food for Her and take it to Her and stay while She was eating. When She went to bed, we used to turn down the cover and everything. It was like a family life. She would come down in the kitchen and teach us some recipes and cook with us. We would bring the children upstairs.

Purna Vertunni

Shri Mataji asked me

I had only been in Cabella for one month and the father of my husband died. My husband was working in the castle and we went to Sicily for the funeral. We were not able to see Shri Mataji before we went but when we came back, She called my husband, so he went inside and was in Shri Mataji’s room and I was asked to go in too. Shri Mataji talked to my husband for a long time, but I did not understand very much. He did not want to accept money from Her, even though he was working there.

You have to tell him he has to accept My money. I want to give him money for this,’ Shri Mataji said to me.

No, no, no,’ he was saying. This went on for a while and then She talked about other things.

She gave me a necklace and then asked me which country I had come from and I told Her – Argentina. She asked me about my job there and I told Her that I had been working with children who had problems at school. She told me that this was not a very good job for me and it would be better if I learnt Indian cooking.

Roxana Sindici

How Shri Mataji cared

I was living in Shri Mataji’s castle at Cabella. When I was in the presence of Shri Mataji, not in the puja, but in the castle or wherever, it was quite difficult to think. I will tell some little stories to show how She cared. My wife was pregnant with our first son.

Don’t climb stairs and don’t lift bags,’ Shri Mataji said to her. Two days after She said this, we went to the doctor for a routine visit and the doctor said exactly the same words to my wife.

Usually I feel vibrations much better on the right side than on the left. Once I was with Shri Mataji at Her Feet, concentrating on Her Feet. Suddenly I felt such fresh strong vibrations on both hands, perfectly balanced. Shri Mataji was talking about other things and did not seem to have Her attention on me. At that point I raised my head and looked at Her face.

Can you feel now?’ She said to me.

Once I had to sleep in Milan because of my work and had done something which was wrong for my vibrations. The next day I came back to Cabella and before I had time to do any meditation or have a footsoak, Shri Mataji called me in Her room. I really didn’t want to go because I hadn’t meditated yet, but I had to. She started talking to me and touching Her fingers, then called someone to massage Her Feet and started talking in Marathi with this person. I felt bad because I had done something wrong the day before and it was obvious that She was not feeling well, and She needed someone to massage Her Feet because I was not feeling well. After a while I felt better vibrations and Shri Mataji turned to me

Do you feel better now?’ She said. I really wanted to disappear at that point, but it was not finished. Shri Mataji, in Her love and compassion, said She was feeling bad because of a problem on the leg, because some doctor did not treat Her very well. It was obvious that She was not well because I was not well, but She was so full of love that She called me just to work on me.

Giorgio Rovina

In my heart I had a huge bouquet for Her

It was my first summer in Cabella, 1998. Before I went for pujas but never stayed longer than one weekend. I had a very strong desire to see Shri Mataji. She had just come back from the USA and we were all invited into the living room with Her for a while. She spoke to us very, sweetly and in a very motherly fashion. At that time, everything was new for me, so I did not know about protocol and such things. Suddenly everybody was asked to give flowers to Her and do namaskar. I had no flowers, I did not know what to do, but in my heart I had a huge bouquet for Her with my love and thankfulness, because She has taken care of my very difficult life, that started to change in a way I never expected. So I just felt the joy in me, like a child running to her Mother. I stood up and moved towards Her like a child full of happiness.

Hello,’ She said to me, smiling. She looked at me with Her beautiful smile and with Her shining eyes. I could not control my eyes and they just got connected with Her eyes looked dark blue. I felt completely lost in them, and even forgot to do namaskar. I did not know at that time that I saw the Virata in Her eyes.

After this event, She allowed me to do namaskar so many times, I can’t even count them, and I’m still lost in Her eyes for ever!

Meera Szegvary

Pieces of sugar

I was not doing the aarti to Shri Mataji myself, but I saw this happen. It was during a Guru Puja in the late nineties. Two ladies went to do the welcoming aarti, when Shri Mataji arrived. One lady, after having offered the rice, kumkum and perfume, wanted to light up the camphor lamp to do the aarti to Shri Mataji. She was busy with the lighter trying to light the camphor up but it was not working. The camphor was not just going on fire. This took quite a while and was quite embarrassing for her. Finally Shri Mataji took a piece of camphor, looked at it and said that it was not camphor at all, but pieces of sugar!

The ladies were quite surprised and a little embarrassed, although they had not prepared the aarti tray.

Trupta de Graaf

Rosaria’s roses

One year before I started Sahaja Yoga the doctors said I had a disease called multiple sclerosis. I started Sahaja Yoga and worked on myself with three candles. Some time later I went to the doctors for a check-up. I had an MRI scan to see if my brain had lesions, and they told me that the disease had stopped for the moment. I came back and was so happy. At that time I didn’t understand the importance of Sahaja Yoga, so I didn’t meditate and didn’t do the treatments or go to the programmes at the centre. After four or five months I again went to Sahaja Yoga but did not do the treatments because I thought I was all right.

About five years later I again started to have the same problem. But I felt sure Shri Mataji would help me. We came to Cabella and it was the turn of the Italians to help in Shri Mataji’s kitchen, and I was also helping to tidy up Her bedroom and make Her bed. I felt such strong vibrations there, coming from the sheets which were still warm from where Shri Mataji had been in them. After the (Guru Puja) weekend programme I was asked to wait because I was to take some Indian visitors, friends of mine, to Rome in my car. They saw Shri Mataji and gave Her a rose from me – and made some sort of a poem as they gave it because my name is Rosaria. They said that of all the flowers given, Mother picked out my rose and smelled it and seemed so satisfied with it. I started to cry, when they told me this, because I knew Mother was helping me to get well. Then I did the three candle treatment again, seriously.

Some time later I again went for an MRI and they said it had again stopped, and a year after that when I had another scan they said that even the lesions in the brain could not be seen any more.

Rosaria Tagliacia

I already knew Who it was

It was a Sunday visit to the ashram in New Jersey, in about July/August 1998. My two sons David, then thirteen, and Phillip, then eleven, were playing outside with Jay, who was sixteen. They wanted to go swimming and I said it was OK. Jay asked his father who also agreed. My children were well adapted to water. The kids were in the pool about thirty to forty-five minutes, when I saw an Indian woman race through the room and out of the door, and then we all followed her.

Jay was at the bottom of the pool motionless and my sons were still swimming, because they thought Jay was playing and holding his breath under the water after jumping off the diving board. I yelled for David to go down to the bottom of the pool and pull Jay up, which he did. When he got him to the edge of the pool more people realised something was wrong, and came out to help. Two people jumped in the water to pull Jay out. 911 (the emergency number) was called. I saw Jay’s face, his eyes were rolling back and he was vomiting but no movement. I went into the meditation room and started to give bandhans.

I know we get boons for doing good deeds but right now I don’t need any boons because I am alive so please, give Jay all my boons,’ I said strongly. About two minutes went by and the phone rang. I already knew who it was. It was Shri Mataji who, quite spontaneously, called from Cabella to say that the boy would be alright.

The ambulance came, and he was in the hospital for about two weeks. Two Sundays after the accident Jay and his parents came back to the ashram for meditation. Jay looked better after then before. His face was gleaming.

Maryanne Berman

Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi, an excerpt from the Navaratri Puja talk in 1998, Cabella Ligure, Italy:

There are a lot of miracles which have taken place, about Sahaja Yoga, I must say; and in that you should see that the wisdom helps you. Of course, My attention is there always, no doubt, but still you should not take it for granted. You have to ask. One day you see, I was just sitting. I just thought that I should telephone somebody in the ashram of New York. I never telephone there. So I found out the number. We telephoned and asked if, I said, ‘Is the child all right?’ So the leader there was surprised because that boy had fallen in the water and was in the water for quite some time, and he was all filled with water, even his brain was filled with water.

As usual, there were some doctors who said that he cannot survive, and even if he survives his brain has so much water that he cannot be normal. So, I just said that, ‘don’t worry,’ – I didn’t know, nobody told Me – ‘Don’t worry. The boy will be all right, completely.’

So, they were surprised how I said so. Firstly, how I knew that the boy had fallen, that there was some boy like that, and then they didn’t know how I said that he’ll be all right, and he was all right – perfectly all right. So they were surprised at My knowing about it, that how is it that Mother knows that there is a boy who is so sick?

Here I will say that it is pure knowledge. You see, My attention is always around you people, always dealing with you people, and how I know is this: that this attention of Mine is global.

So, anything happens to you, any upsetting takes place, any, I should say, deviation takes place, My attention is there and immediately I know that there is something wrong somewhere. And I don’t know how My attention goes to particular places, which makes life better – it helps people in need.

Bulgarians are simple people

It was Shri Ganesha Puja 1998, and there was a performance of a traditional Bulgarian folk dance group. They were dancing traditional dance and Shri Mataji was watching the programme and afterwards She said that they were so fast and dynamic. She said this was because they had good Mooladharas. One time Shri Mataji mentioned that Bulgarians, like all the Slavic peoples, are simple people. Last year (2001) at the Leader’s Meeting at the Guru Puja in Cabella, Shri Mataji said Shri Lakshmi will soon come to Bulgaria and Russia.

Gary Bolneva

Shri Ganesha statues

Once in Cabella the couples got presented with little silver Shri Ganesha statutes at a Shri Ganesha Puja before the marriages. I heard Shri Mataji saying to the couples:

Keep the Ganesha, but please don’t worship it.’ (meaning the statue)

In another talk Shri Mataji said we should have a Shri Ganesha statue in our house, so children can see Shri Ganesha, how He looks, what are His qualities etc, as a role model. 

Arno Krimmer

Prasad

At one puja, the country I live in was part of the organising countries and we were preparing prasad. A yogini and I were enjoying ourselves tremendously, putting all the treats on plates, and were talking about all sorts of prasad like the little white balls with coconut and skimmed milk and the large orange balls. I pulled my ears, knowing it was prasad for Shri Ganesha, and said I was not very fond of them. We laughed and hoped we would be given different prasad.

The puja took place and somehow we ended up in front of the stage just before Shri Mataji. The prasad came and we both got a huge orange ball. We looked at each other and started laughing, and then a yogi came to sit next to us and he had not received any prasad, so very mischievously we gave him one of our balls. He looked a bit puzzled, so we took that he was not fond of them either. Tears were rolling down our cheeks. Then one of Shri Mataji’s dogs came to sit beside us, we gave him a bit and he sniffed it and decided it was no food for a dog.

We did not dare look at each other, so we looked at Shri Mataji, who was looking in our direction – smiling, nodding, knowing. I pulled my ears again. Needless to say we ate the orange balls and they were lovely.

Irene Hoogmoed

Icelandic people are very wise

In the summer of 1998, after a year and a half of doing Sahaja programmes in Bergen, Norway, I thought of trying out Sahaja Yoga in Iceland. I had the opportunity to ask Shri Mataji personally about this.

Iceland is such a cold country,’ She said. ‘I knew an Icelandic man who married a lady from Calcutta. He moved there, and as it is so hot he had to stay inside. Because of the fan he got pneumonia and moved back to Iceland. But Icelandic people are very wise. They have Sanskrit in their language.’ Mother mentioned that the word for ‘sugar’ in Icelandic is the same as in Sanskrit. So I understood that I should stay in Norway, and the following year Sahaja Yoga worked out nicely there.

My desire to go to Iceland lived on and in 2002 a friend and I took a plane to Reykjavik (Iceland) and spent ten days there, and we did two Sahaja programmes. The Belgian leader, told Shri Mataji about this. He asked Mother if it would be positive to start Sahaja Yoga in Iceland.

Iceland is such a cold country,’ Shri Mataji said again.

But there are people living there,’ replied Bernard.

Of course, of course,’ She then answered, and was quiet for a few seconds then said, ‘I would be very happy.’

Meetings started on 5th September 2003.

Rita Defruyt

Dogs

Speaking of the dogs at Cabella, Shri Mataji once told the yogis/yoginis living in the castle that the three dogs used to be human at the time of Shri Krishna and they belonged to a royal family. They wanted to serve the goddess, but were punished because they murdered someone, and were not allowed to incarnate as humans again until after they had come as dogs in the home of the Adi Shakti. Life is truly stranger than fiction!

Edward Saugstad 

More about dogs

At one time the dogs at Cabella were joined by a stray dog that somebody had brought to the castle, but you could tell the dog was trouble because he would lead the other dogs astray and attempt to bite you if you tried to stroke it. He went and attacked the birds that belonged to the house down the drive as you come up to the castle from the village. After trying many things somebody took him very far away to help the situation. While it was going on I was the foreman of the work and it was mentioned to Shri Mataji what was going on. She said to control the dogs we should put name tags on them and that would help, which we did.

Derek Ferguson

Our faces were completely changed

The year I got married, I was in India and Mother had matched me to a man from the Czech Republic. As he came on the stage my face was on the big screen, and all the people in the hangar were laughing – so the arrangement was immediately cancelled! The Czech leader went to Shri Mataji, and I thought I would not marry that year, but She told me to wait on the stage. She asked me where I was from. I told Her, and She was laughing. She asked a German man to come on the stage. The lady he was proposed for had not arrived, and was the best friend of my best friend. He was suggested for me. So it worked out.

Once I had a big question to ask Mother in my heart. The day before I came to Cabella I wrote a birthday card to my husband, whose birthday it was – ‘I wish to be a rose in his heart, where forever Mother will sit.’

That night we were waiting for Mother to return to the castle from Genoa, where she had been for the day. There were just a few of us waiting for Her in the late evening. It was very intimate. The car arrived and everybody was so happy, like little children. In fact the little children were all dancing in the courtyard outside the castle, where the car comes. We were all silent, and were waiting in the hallway of the castle. The joy was like the first time you see Mother. A lot of purity and joy like a little child has, in the heart. Finally when She is about to arrive, something moves inside you, in your heart and your Sahasrara, and you feel connected with Her before you can see Her.

She arrived, and we were waiting, and some of the men carried Her in on Her chair, that is like a throne. There were roses decorating it, just like the ones I had put in the card which I had left for my husband. She came in and as She passed us all waiting in the hall.

May God bless you,’ She said, and there were such a lot of vibrations. She seemed to be very big, as if Her face was like the universe for that moment. They put Her chair down in the living room and She talked with one yogi in a very loving way. You could feel the power of Her love. Finally She said thank you and went into Her bedroom.

Our faces were completely changed. We were shining in our hearts and it came out through our faces. One yogi gave me a rose, and it was the rose which had been on Shri Mataji’s chair when they carried Her in.

Rosaria Tagliacia

In any age and in any place

I passed through a very memorable experience, my wedding — in my case, a re-marriage — in Sahaja Yoga. The whole day was very special. It began in the morning with the haldi ceremony in the river. There I got the impression that I was taking part in something much bigger and I noticed that time was not real. We could be living in any age and in any place. I passed a great part of the time in the witness state. It is very complicated to translate in words, the bond, the communication between us when the brides were being prepared.

Later, when we got ready, we sat for a few hours on the steps inside the castle in Cabella, which led to a room where Shri Mataji was seated. We could not see Her, but could hear Her. We stayed there until the last yogini achieved the meditative state. Shri Mataji received us two by two for a little puja. Then I was absolutely sure that I was in the presence of the great Goddess because only She could grant us this experience of the absolute.

Adriana Pennido

Whatever you do with your heart is alright

Just before Navaratri Puja 1998, I was working in the castle at Cabella. This very clear, nice young yuva shakti girl came in and wanted to help in the kitchen. She was to prepare the fruit that Shri Mataji was to have, and it was time to take it in.

Oh no, that is no good. We never leave the peel on the apple for Shri Mataji; She must have a peeled apple!’ the lady in charge of the cooking said. She quickly peeled another apple and it was sent in, and the yuva shakti girl looked a bit downcast. But then the next thing that happened was that the plate of fruit came back to the kitchen.

Shri Mataji always had an apple without the peel, but on that day, She asked for an apple with the peel still on. So the young girl smiled, and realised that whatever you do with your heart is alright, and her apple, with the peel still on, was sent in for Shri Mataji.

Anna Chicos

The musician Nishat Khan bowing to Shri Mataji, Cabella 1998

Get married

I remember listening to Mother giving personal attention to the seekers after the open-air public programme in Pietrasanta. A karate instructor told Shri Mataji how he always injured his left knee; Mother’s advice was that he must get married.

George Barberton

Bring the suitcase over to Me

One time, before leaving Cabella for India, Shri Mataji called some of us to do some packing. We were in one of the bedrooms filling up suitcases. Shri Mataji asked us to close a certain one, but it was over full, and the things were spilling out everywhere. We could not close it.

Stand on the suitcase, and Sandeep will close it,’ She said to me. Now I am almost a hundred kilos. But we still could not close it.

Bring the suitcase over to Me, close to Me,’ Shri Mataji smiled, and put Her right foot on the case, and after that we could close the case without any effort at all.

Rajeshwara from Italy

A programme of Muslim qawwalis

My experience with Shri Mataji at Pune was really excellent. I was at the Nagpur Academy and one of the seven students invited to Pratishthan. It was a great honour to be there as part of the music group. I had a desire to sit at Shri Mataji’s Lotus Feet, and the next minute She called me, and there I was, sitting at Her Feet. All the other music students were also called to sit there, and enjoy the programme of Muslim qawwalis. After that I went to Noida, Delhi, and was able to help cook for Her and all the guests in the house.

In 1998 all the Nagpur Academy students were to perform in front of Shri Mataji at Ganapatipule. There were about seventy of us. We were seated on the stage, and I was not by any means at the front. Some people sat in front of me so I could no longer see Shri Mataji. At that moment, Baba Mama asked me to take a bhajan book to Shri Mataji so again I was able to see Her.

God bless you,’ She said when I took it to Her. It meant so much to me.

Manjuri from Malaysia

I’ll turn it down

We were at Nagpur, at the Music Academy, and Baba Mama told us this story. On one occasion he was with Shri Mataji.

I want you to work on Me,’ She asked him.

You want me to work on You?’ he replied, surprised.

Yes, I want you to work on Me. Can you raise My Kundalini?’ So he went to raise Her Kundalini, and he got an electric shock.

I can’t,’ he said, ‘it’s too powerful.’

OK,’ She went on. ‘I’ll turn it down.’

He explained that we couldn’t actually take all the power. She could control it, at any time that She wanted, how many vibrations were going out.

Glenn Pattison

Shri Mataji could write a book on flowers

Shri Mataji could write a book on flowers. Her knowledge of flowers was tremendous. She loved flowers and I’ve never seen flowers respond so beautifully with anyone. She is Adi Shakti, and it was amazing how the flowers responded to Her. In Mumbai it is difficult to get good flowers but somehow we managed to find one of the few good flower shops that sell lilies and so on. We would often carry two or three buckets of flowers for Shri Mataji when She came to Mumbai.

She told us that you must put a bit of vibrated water and a bit of sugar so that they will live longer. The moment She touched a flower, even one that had drooped, it again stood up with dignity. She loved them and automatically they bloomed.

We were at Vashi in the late nineties and bought some very good flowers. Mother didn’t like Indian marigolds. She loved those good flowers we got. That time, I gave flowers to all the leaders to give to Shri Mataji. There was one man who gave a rose to Shri Mataji and She took it.

There is not a single rose like this,’ She said, meaning this man was very good. That evening, I gave my flowers and bowed down and Shri Mataji asked me where I got them from. She said they were very beautiful. We had got so many varieties, but She could name each and every flower and even where they were grown and found, whether in India or elsewhere. If anyone wants to make the Devi really happy — and the vibrations only flow when the Devi is happy — they should give Her flowers especially ones with fragrance. She always said the Indian flowers are good because they all have fragrance.

Anonymous

Shri Mataji in Her garden at Pratishthan

Some more Sahaja Yogis

Some Sahaja Yogis presented some dogs to Shri Mataji and She sent them to Pratishthan, where they grew up quickly. Once we were sitting in the garden at the back of the house with Shri Mataji. There were just a few of us, and the three dogs came.

Here are some more Sahaja Yogis coming,’ Mother said in a humorous way. One dog sat next to Shri Mataji in a meditative mood, the second was troubling the other Sahaja Yogis who were sitting nearby ‘He’ll still have to grow,’ Mother said, or something like that. She said they would get human bodies and be Sahaja Yogis in their next lifetime.

Another time Shri Mataji came into the garden at Pratishthan and a big flow of wind came.

Look how the whole of nature responds to Me,’ She said. Then She sat on the chair facing the city of Pune, and explained how at night the city looked like an ocean when they turned on the lights. The wind that flowed through the structure of the walls with holes in them, which were in the garden there, sounded like the waves of an ocean.

Ravindranath Saundankar

Dogs and cats

I also heard about the dog Deepak from Pratishthan, who was biting some people and even attacked a government official. Mother said that this dog was doing it for a reason. Once a cat was sitting at Mother’s left shoulder and Mother said that Russians have a Left Vishuddhi problem. It was in the 1990’s in Moscow.

Maxim Belyanin 

Long nights watching music and dance programmes

At Ganapatipule Shri Mataji spent many long nights with us watching the wonderful dance programmes and listening to remarkable concerts, but above all working on our vibrations through the sound of the music. Early on the morning of the 29th of December 1998, the programme ended with a masterly Bharat Natyam dance and then bhajans sung by Arun Apte and his group of the Academy. It was around 4.30 am and many of us had difficulties to keep awake but of course Shri Mataji was on top form and She gave a beautiful speech saying that we had to spread this music, this art. If so many young people were taking drugs, it was because they could not express themselves and have the satisfaction to put their talents into practice. It was because they did not have any satisfaction.

 Christophe Rivaud

I must come to your house

It was at Ganapatipule, in 1998. I took a present up after the puja for South Africa, and also two miracle photos taken by one of our Sahaja Yogis from Port Elizabeth, where I was living at that time. It was of the photo, offerings and flowers after a little Shri Krishna Puja we had done. The first photo showed the picture of Shri Mataji and on the Her left is a full moon. In the next photo, on the right of Her picture, are a lot of sun rays coming down.

Is this taken in Johannesburg?’ Shri Mataji asked.

No Mother,’ I replied.

Cape Town?’

No Mother.’

Then where?’

In my little house in Port Elizabeth.’

I must come to your house,’ Shri Mataji said. She never did, in Her physical form, but we felt Her there all the same.

Linda Williams

The two miracle photos